Guus Hiddink has resigned from his post as head coach of Anzhi Makhachkala. He will be replaced by fellow Dutchman René Meulensteen, who had previously worked as assistant manager at Manchester United alongside Sir Alex Ferguson.
The Russian Football Premier League has suffered its first coaching departure of the season. On July 22, Anzhi Makhachkala head man Guus Hiddink resigned from his post.
According to the club, the decision to leave was Hiddink’s. Board of Directors Chairman Konstantin Remchukov has stated that the announcement “was neither expected nor unexpected.”
Both sides appeared to be quite satisfied with the split. “Hiddink was more than just a bystander—he was one of the key factors in the formation of a new stage in the history of Anzhi and the image of the club in Russia and around the world,” an official club statement said.
“The Dutch expert played an important role in the development of Anzhi, the club’s management and the creation of our football academy. With Hiddink at the helm, Anzhi had the best season in its history, finishing third in the Russian Premier League table.”
Hiddink himself stressed that he was satisfied with his work at the Makhachkala club. “The decision wasn’t easy for me, but I’ve always said that my mission at Anzhi will be done as soon as the club is able to develop and move further by itself without my participation,” Hiddink said immediately after his departure. “The time has come. I’m convinced that a great future awaits the club, and I’m glad to have been a part of this vast football project.”
Hiddink had originally planned to leave the club prior to the spring schedule, but the club’s management was unable to find a suitable replacement for a coach of Hiddink’s caliber. His resignation was thus rejected and his contract extended by one year instead.
Now Anzhi has found a successor to Hiddink; the team will be led by René Meulensteen, who started working with the club this summer. He has earned his stripes, having worked at Manchester United since the beginning of the 2000s, including as assistant to Alex Ferguson, who retired at the end of last season.
Konstantin Remchukov is confident in Meulensteen’s potential. “We have appointed one of the best qualified coaches in the world—a man who led Manchester United training sessions for five years. He is well-known in the football world, and the players were enthusiastic upon hearing the news of his arrival. The only thing they were able to say after his training sessions was ‘unbelievable.’”
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